11 Homemade Easter Egg Dyes

Skip the kit and try coloring Easter eggs naturally with homemade dyes that use coffee, onions, blueberries, and other kitchen finds.

From Baking Soda, Banana Peels, Baby Oil, and Beyond (Reader's Digest Association Books)
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    Basic Egg Coloring How-to

    1. Gently wash eggs with soapy water and dry. 2. Place a single layer of eggs in a non-metal pot with the dye (see next slides for colors and sources). 3. Add 2 tablespoons vinegar to 1 quart water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes, and remove pot from burner. If you like the color as it is, dab off excess dye with a paper towel and set the eggs on a rack to dry. To deepen the color, leave eggs in the pot until cool. To get even richer shades, put cool eggs in a bowl, strain the dye water, and pour it over the eggs. Store the submerged eggs in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

    Note: Quantities are based on 1 quart of liquid. Amounts of dyeing ingredients are approximate; more dyestuff and longer dye baths produce the deepest colors. All boiled eggs should be stored in the refrigerator, and any that have soaked in hot or warm water for several hours should not be eaten.

    Natural Easter Egg Dye #1: Brewed coffee

    Quantity: 1 quart strong coffee plus water to cover the eggs
    Color: Brown

    Natural Easter Egg Dye #2: Blueberries

    Quantity: Up to 4 cups
    Color: Lavender

    Natural Easter Egg Dye #3: Yellow onion skins

    Quantity: Up to 4 packed cups
    Color: Sienna

    Natural Easter Egg Dye #4: Beet juice

    Quantity: Half strength or more of the vinegar water
    Color: Deep pink

    Natural Easter Egg Dye #5: Cranberry juice

    Quantity: Full-strength
    Color: Light pink

    Natural Easter Egg Dye #6: Paprika

    Quantity: 3 tablespoons or more
    Color: Brick red

    Natural Easter Egg Dye #7: Turmeric

    Quantity: 3 or more tablespoons
    Color: Yellow-green

    Natural Easter Egg Dye #8: Purple grape juice

    Quantity: Half or more of the liquid
    Color: Blue-gray

    Natural Easter Egg Dye #9: Red cabbage

    Quantity: 4 or more cups, chopped (boil and then soak overnight)
    Color: Robin's egg blue

    Natural Easter Egg Dye #10: Spinach or grass

    Quantity: Up to 4 cups
    Color: Green

    Natural Easter Egg Dye #11: Red wine

    Quantity: Full strength or diluted with water only
    Color: Deep purple